Asus NovaGo review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

WinFuture discovered a benchmark for Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 850 processor that shows a less-than-stellar increase in multi-core performance over the previous 835 chip. Introduced in June as an alternative to Intel-based processors for Windows 10 PCs, the Snapdragon 850 promises up to 30 percent better “system-wide” performance than the previous generation, yet the benchmark shows that leap only applies to single-core numbers.

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 850 chip currently appears in a “Lenovo 81JL” device listed on Geekbench. To gauge the changes in performance, the Asus NovaGo TP370QL 2-in-1 PC sporting the Snapdragon 835 is used for comparison. Geekbench shows that the 850 chip scored 2,263 points in the single-core test while the 835 scored 1,802 points in the same test. That is a single-core increase of around 23 percent.

The performance increase isn’t quite so dramatic in multi-core tests, hence the typical use of the “up to” phrases when companies describe processor performance. When comparing the same two devices again, the 850 chip scored 6,947 points in the multi-core test while the 835 scored a slightly lower 6,475 points. That’s a mere 7.3 percent increase.

Designed for Windows 10 PCs, the Snapdragon 850 is an eight-core chip based on 10nm process technology boasting speeds of up to 2.96GHz. It’s an all-in-one chip sporting LTE connectivity supporting 1.2Gbps download speeds, Wireless AD and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and more. Qualcomm says the chip’s low power draw enables up to 25 hours of continuous use on a Windows 10 PC.

“New and improved features on the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform can support on-device experiences for A.I., and users can expect camera, voice and battery life enhancements,” the company boasts. On the A.I. front, Qualcomm claims the chip provides three times better performance than the previous-generation chip.

The Snapdragon 835 is an eight-core chip as well based on 10nm process technology. With speeds of up to a lower 2.45GHz, it includes an LTE modem supporting 1Gbps download speeds, built-in Wireless AC and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and so on. It appeared in the first wave of “always connected” PCs introduced by Qualcomm and Microsoft at the end of 2017.

But keep in mind that the Lenovo 81JL is the only device with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 chip currently listed on Geekbench, thus you won’t find other comparable benchmarks for now. Given the device has yet to hit the market, Qualcomm, Lenovo, and Microsoft may still have work to do in terms of optimizations.

But as WinFuture points out, given the device isn’t listed with an internal name — which is used when devices are still in development and undergoing testing — the Lenovo 81JL may be close to a market launch. Still, the single-core performance increase should be noticeable for customers upgrading to the Snapdragon 850 platform given that apps generally only use a single processor core anyway.

Qualcomm said in June that Windows 10 PCs based on the Snapdragon 850 will arrive “later this year.” Current models that fall under the “always connected” umbrella include the HP Envy x2, the Asus NovaGo, and the Lenovo Miix 630.

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